Melbourne is known as the shopping capital of Australia, which means it’s home to many independent boutiques; focusing on books, souvenirs, jewellery and clothing. From charming boutiques that celebrate local craftsmanship to innovative concept stores that push boundaries, Melbourne’s independent stores are a testament to creativity, passion, and individuality. Here are the best independent stores to visit when in town.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Third Drawer Down
Third Drawer Down is a design studio, wholesaler and store. Its flagship shop in Fitzroy acts as their interpretation of a traditional museum or gallery store. Stocking products from Melbourne, Australia and worldwide, the team at Third Drawer Down are dedicated to finding unique objects. This includes homewares, limited-edition tea towels, accessories, books and novelty products. Since 2003, Third Drawer Down has collaborated with more than 200 international artists. Stop by to find a gift for the person who has it all.
Perfect Splash is an independent boutique owned by sisters, Annabelle and Alana. The duo specialise in locally made products, such as clothing, ceramics, jewellery, candles, publications, and local band tapes and records. A lot of the clothing pieces stocked at Perfect Splash are made in very small runs as well. The sisters also prefer clothing made from natural fibres and upcycled materials, like pieces from their own clothing line, Paradise Structures.
The Paperback Bookshop
The Paperback Bookshop first opened on Bourke Street in the 1960s. It stocks a variety of titles from Australia and around the world, which include fiction, travel, non-fiction, music, philosophy and current affairs books. It also has cards, wrapping paper and journals in store, such as the New York Review of Books and The Monthly. The Paperback Bookshop is open late and is next door to Pellegrini’s, which is known for its coffee and pasta.
Madam Virtue & Co
Madam Virtue & Co is an independent shop with a difference. The luxury consignment store specialises in buying and selling pre-loved designer clothing and accessories. Some of the pieces available at Madam Virtue & Co include Louis Vuitton handbags, Christian Dior necklaces, and Chanel and Prada clothing. If you love high-end vintage, head to Madam Virtue & Co.
Design A Space
Design A Space was established in 2006, as a retail space where independent Australian designers could showcase their wares in an artistic shopping environment. Design A Space supports over 100 designers, which rotate monthly and focus on men, women and children’s clothing and accessories. Many designers choose to display limited edition pieces not available anywhere else either. Design A Space is committed to providing Melbourne locals with the best offerings in Australian independent fashion at its three locations.
Vintage Sole has been selling premium retro wares to locals for over 10 years. It has three locations in Melbourne’s three main independent shopping suburbs: the CBD, Fitzroy and Windsor. It has an extensive collection of seasonally-appropriate fashion, footwear and accessories from the 1950s to 1990s. So if you’re looking for cowboy boots, flares from the 1970s or the perfect 1960s vintage dress, visit Vintage Sole.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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